February 14th, more formally known as Valentine’s Day, is highly anticipated as well as highly dreaded for many (depending upon your relationship status). Regardless of being single or taken, it is important that you recognize that it is merely just another day of the week. Take into consideration the following recommendations of what to do and, more importantly, what not to do this Valentine’s Day.
Throw an anti-Valentine’s Day Party. Invite those of your friends without dates to attend a party that emphasizes how awesome it is to not be in a relationship. Highlight the positives of being single, and enjoy having a fun get-together with great friends!
Raid the stores to get awesome deals on candy and other items. Everyone knows the day after Halloween is one of the greatest for getting the best candy at half the price. The same goes for Valentine’s Day. While everyone else is paying full price for chocolates that they have to give their significant other by the 14th, you can score big on name brand candies that are left over. Are we the only ones who look forward to the bags filled exclusively with cherry blow pops?
Prepare. This is not the day to leave things to the last minute. If you are planning something big for your significant other, then you need to make sure you have taken the appropriate measures to ensure you will be able to carry out your special plans. Everyone will be hitting the town for various activities and space will become very limited. Get tickets or make reservations in advance, that way you’re not sharing your romantic date three seats away from one another in the front row at the movies.
Embrace the day. Even if you’re single you can still spread the love. There are plenty of opportunities to help support some great causes locally as well as nationally, or take it upon yourself to support a cause close to your heart. At the very least call your mom up and tell her you love her.
Be realistic. (Or put this under don’t, as in “Don’t have unrealistic expectations”). Valentine’s Day is not the only day of the year that you can fall in love, or that your prince charming can sweep you off your feet. It’s just another day of the week, and despite society’s efforts to highlight love on this one day, there is no reason to believe you will be alone forever. The lower your expectations, the lower your chances are of being disappointed.
Text an ex. If you have an ex they are so for a reason. Don’t start thinking about what could have been, or what could be. Contacting your ex will not make you feel any better, especially once your Valentine’s Day vulnerability has passed. If the urge to text continues, I suggest playing Taylor Swift’s “Picture To Burn” on repeat.
Sit at home alone. If you’re down about Valentine’s Day you definitely do not need to spend your time alone wallowing. Visit your family or get together with close friends. Share the day with those that mean the most to you, and reinforce how much you care about the relationships you already have!
Overdo it. It’s okay to use Valentine’s Day as a way to demonstrate to someone you are interested in them, or reinforce how much you love them, but don’t get too crazy. If you must, oversized teddy bears and balloons are okay within the confines of your own home, but don’t have them delivered to the classroom. It’s embarrassing for everyone.
Try to avoid the holiday completely. This goes for everyone. If you’re in a relationship, don’t try and tell your significant other that you “don’t buy into the holiday”. Utilize the day to reinforce how much you care for one another. You don’t have to go the whole nine yards, but the day is still a good opportunity to spend quality time together.
Go on a first date. Starting a new relationship is always fun and exciting, but Valentine’s Day is not the day to do this! Choosing to go on a first date on Valentine’s Day places way too much pressure on both parties, and can completely jeopardize a relationship that actually has potential.
If you need some fresh ideas for an inexpensive date check out this post about dating on a budget.
And if none of these tips help, look up the meaning of Valentine’s Day and realize it’s really not about you anyways!
You’ve made it this far. You’re one year away from graduation, and aside from feeling anxious and excited, you’ve also got that bittersweet feeling that won’t go away. Where will your friends be next year? Where will you be?
Well, don’t think about that right now. Make your senior year something memorable, something you will value for years to come. You don’t want to remember your senior year as the year you worried about everything coming after it. Consider these three points to make your final year the best it can be:
1. Commit a moderate amount of time to studying
Whether you’re under-loading on classes your final semesters, writing a thesis, or taking a normal class load, you still can’t forget that your last set of grades are just as important as the rest. Spend a considerable amount of time making sure you get your work in by your deadlines (no Senioritis, thank you!), and if you happen to slip up a couple times, just don’t make a habit of it. It’s important to keep up your grades and sense of commitment to your courses. After all, you’re going to need that same type of discipline after you graduate.
2. Be sure to get out and have fun
Sometimes people focus too much on work, and don’t get out with their friends to have a good time once in a while. Don’t overdo it (partying all nights of the weekend every weekend is a bit excessive for any year of college). Find a good balance between work and play. That is true for your college experience in general. By senior year you should have a good grasp of that—however, most seniors are newly 21 and might go out more often than before due to less drinking restrictions. Just have good sense and judgment. You know how much work has been required in your last three years. Be sure to go off of that so you can gauge how much time you’ll need to commit to everything else.
3. Stay in your extracurricular activities
If you start to feel burnt out of everything you’re involved in after class, think hard about what you still want to be involved in. Being in a club or other campus organization for multiple years is a great way to gain experience in that field and also looks good on a resume. But don’t stay just for the resume boost. Unless you realize the groups you’re involved with are no longer of interest to you, I highly recommend retaining your level of commitment to them. Don’t get too lazy your senior year, otherwise you could end up quite bored. It’s all about maintaining a sense of consistency across your four years.
You want your senior year to stand out, but you also don’t. Find that equilibrium. Be sure to study hard, but also to play hard, and graduate from your school with a bang. Your last year should be the pinnacle, representative of the most recent and lasting memories you have of your undergraduate career. Make this one count!
While there may not be real school bells ringing, or yellow buses picking you up, it’s obvious that school has once again started. For many, it’s their first time at college. And for others, it’s the start of their last year, and final few semesters. Even though everyone is at a different starting point, we can all learn from some simple “start of the semester” advice.
Whatever happened last semester—whether in college or high school—it doesn’t have to happen again. If you were less than pleased with your performance, or really want to strive for something different, you still can.
Each semester marks a new slate, a chance to do and be something different. Maybe you got all A’s, or maybe you never even went to class. Either way, you call the shots. The beginning of the semester marks a special moment when you get a choice—you get to decide who you want to be and how you want to act.
I’ve had friends go all through college not applying themselves—not going to class, partying all the time, pretending they didn’t care about their future or their GPA. But then something changed. All of the sudden we came back from summer and they were setting goals, and really working hard. When I asked them about it, it was simple. It took a while to focus, to figure out what was next for them, but with graduation looming in the not too distant future a plan of action was necessary. Lucky for them, the new semester and the new year allowed for the change. With new classes, new professors, and a clean GPA slate—hey we all start with a 4.0—they were able to paint a different picture for themselves, one that didn’t involve not going to class.
The saying “out with the old, in with new” has never held truer. You can forget your bad final, or your slacker high school days and start fresh. Make a plan of attack for this fall semester and set some goals. And maybe you aren’t concerned with the type of student you are, and instead you need goals for something else. Take involvement for example. Have you be less than a social butterfly for the last few years? Ready to get outside your dorm room and mingle on campus? It’s not too late. Nothing is set in stone in college; you have time to do whatever your heart desires. Juniors and seniors join clubs, not just freshmen. Don’t think that because you didn’t do it before, you can’t do it now. The start of the semester is a great time for change as long as you take advantage of it—it won’t be as easy later.
Scenario number one: I need a job! Money is tight for most all college students. If you have time to work but are worried you won’t be able to find a job in your new town, don’t be! I moved from Iowa to Omaha and I wanted a job more than anything. You have to be proactive. I went around to various stores and introduced myself to many managers. I filled out numerous applications and sure enough, quickly got multiple interviews. The key is to look for a job right at the beginning of the school year. Most part time jobs have seasonal workers who maybe live in your college town but go to school elsewhere. When these employees to away to school, they need people to fill their shoes fast during the school year, it’s perfect! Be confident and go get em!
Scenario number two: Homework overload! College is interesting because although you will suddenly have an abundance of free time, you will also find yourself with insane amounts of homework. If you put two and two together, do your homework in your free time! I know it doesn’t sound like the most fun to use your free time for your studies, but it will benefit you. If you use time between classes or at lunch to study, you can use your evenings to relax. I’ve found myself mastering the art of getting everything done early in the day or afternoon; it’s so nice to be able to relax when dinner time rolls around.
Scenario number three: I got dumped! I know the initial thing to do after being dumped is going to one extreme or the other. Either you don’t eat or you eat the whole pantry. Either you don’t sleep or you sleep your life away. Either you don’t work out or you never stop. Point is, neither extreme is healthy. College brings change that sometimes high school relationships or summer flings can’t handle. If you find yourself suddenly riding solo, embrace it! Think of all the new fish in the college sea. I know at first it will seem as though no one can compare to the one you were with, truth is; only time will tell. If you are supposed to be with that person, eventually it will happen if not, it might as well end sooner than later. Have fun, remain confident, and don’t always think you NEED to be in a relationship to be happy.
Scenario number four: I’ve gained weight! Everyone has heard of the so called, “freshman 15.” It’s true that college can initially lead to weight gain. This is due to eating at later times in the night, eating more fast food, and not working out as much. Alcohol is also one of the main causes of weight gain in college students. To fix your sudden weight gain, start with eating right. Pick meals that include each food group, and attempt to snack less. Along with eating the right foods, try and eat all your food before 9 at night. The later you eat, the more food sticks on your body once you sleep. Eating breakfast is one of the main contributors to a healthy diet. Breakfast gets your metabolism going sooner, and leads to less hunger overall throughout the day. If you must go to a fast food restaurant to eat, try and pick a subway or order off the lower calorie menu. The best advice is to just avoid fast food. Other things to avoid include pop and alcohol. These beverages are loaded with a ridiculous amount of calories. If you feel a good workout is in order, just do it! Now that the weather is getting nice, try going for a run or a bike ride. Getting active is a step in the right direction.
I hope if any of my scenarios related to you, my advice will also. Have an awesome last few weeks of school!
In college you’ll most likely find yourself lower on money than ever before. Typical dinner and a movie dates might be out of your newfound budget. There are many ways that you can still be entertained and have a great time on a date for FREE.
Most schools allow their students to attend their sporting events either free or on a discounted price. Going to a game together is a fun environment if you’re a sports fan. It’s easy to talk and be yourself while bonding over school spirit. Many universities also allow their students to attend their schools theater productions either free or on a discounted price. This environment is cool because it’s different and theater is often romantic as well.
If you find yourself with a really nice day ask your date to take a walk with you. A walk through a park on a nice day is free and leaves you with a lot of time to talk. If you’re hungry pack a picnic and enjoy the sunshine. If you find yourself with a nice night, take your date to lay out and watch the stars. Nothing is more romantic and this is always free as well.
If the weather is not so nice, create a date at home! Rent a movie from a local Redbox, it only cost $1.00. If there are no Redboxs in your town, just pop in a DVD you already own. Put a bag of popcorn in the microwave and cozy up to a movie away from the nasty weather. Movies at home are sometimes better than the theater because it’s just the two of you. If you have a kitchen, you could cook a meal together, or you can cook one for your date. My boyfriend and I have made cookies together before when it’s snowy and we’re stuck inside. If you want to create a dinner for your date, a good idea is Chinese food. Homemade fortune cookies are fairly easy to make and you can put your own personal messages inside!
Another thing you can do is keep your eyes open in the community. There are always art shows, farmer’s markets, musical performances (in coffee shops, bars, or even on the streets) that are free and open to the public. If money has been holding you back from taking your honey on a sweet date, now you have no excuse! Get out there and have a wonderful time, it’s priceless.
I’m reading Invitation to Health: Choosing to Change